Vegetable, Salad and Herb Six Pack Eggboxes
For 14 years, I have been successfully selling my Protea, Fynbos Feast and Waterwise Eggboxes. With this success in mind and the fact that I wanted to start growing my own food, these 'food' seed six packs came into being.
I wanted to make it as easy as possible for someone who has never grown anything from seed before - hence this kit form - a slightly more sophisticated version of growing beans in cottonwool. Initially you just have to follow instructions and add water. The plants chosen are a combination of common vegetables and herbs that I use in my day to day living, plants that are easy to grow from seed and therefore rewarding, so that first time growers will succeed and want to continue growing. Besides the economic advantages of growing your own fresh herbs and vegetables, they always taste better and I find the whole process very therapeutic - the more chaotic the world becomes, I think the more important these simple processes become in our lives.
I like to test out any product I'm selling to ensure that it actually works, so here goes:
- I unwrapped my eggbox by cutting along dotted line so that I didn't damage the label, as the instructions are printed on the back of label.
- I read the instructions to check that they were clear and also to see which of my seeds I could plant right now. Luckily all of them could be planted in October.
- I filled each egg cup with the soil provided, damping it down a little with my fingers. I also removed any large bits of bark at this stage - just to make the soil level and easier to plant the seeds in and also for watering.
- I then placed all the seed packets in the top of the tray in the positions I was going to plant them - to keep track of which seeds were in which cup. These later ended up blowing away - so would suggest you write it down somewhere and keep it safe, so you know which plant is which - I luckily had the photos as a reference.
- I removed one seed from it's packet (two where the seeds were very tiny).
- I then checked the instructions for the depth I needed to plant this particular seed.
- I then inserted my little ruler into the soil in the middle of the cup to the depth prescribed and dropped the seed in and then carefully covered the seed up.
- I repeated the process with the other 5 types.
- Once all were planted, I found a level sunny, sheltered spot in my garden, placed two pieces of braai wood on this surface and the eggbox on top of these, ensuring that it was still level. I raised it off the surface to encourage good drainage - you can obviously use whatever you have lying around to do this.
- Then, using the ordinary nozzle on my hose pipe set at the finest spray I could, I moistened the soil. I removed some more of the rougher bits in the soil at this stage that I hadn't previously removed. It is important here, that the spray is very fine - it must not distrurb the soil at all, otherwise your seeds, especially the small ones, will be washed right out of the box. Also don't flood the box - spray a little - let the water sink in and then a little more. At no stage must you have a pool of water sitting on the top of the soil.
- Over the next week or so, I continued watering at least once a day and sometimes twice a day, if it was very hot. Every now and I again I let 36 hours pass between watering, but did not give up.
- I had noted the date on which I planted (02 Oct) and started checking each plant from the earliest possible time germination was predicted (see under instructions).
- A funny thing which I have noticed before when planting seeds - you can look at the soil expecting to see a little burst of green and see nothing - and then look again a few seconds later at the same spot - and there it is - a little spurt of greeness thrusting out of the soil. Very exciting and rewarding. After the first seed germinated, they all seemed to suddenly wake up.
- These were the germination results I got:
- Vegetable Six Packs: brocollii - 10days / runner beans - 12days / carrots & beetroot - 13 days / onion - 15days / butternut - 16days
- Salad Six Packs: cucumber & tomatoes - 11days / spring onion & rocket - 12days / celery - 14days / green pepper - 23days
- Herb Six Packs: coriander - 11days / parsley - 15days / sage - 16days / basil - 17days / oreganum - 19days / chives - they didn't come up - I suspect I may have washed them away with a vigorus watering.
- The first two to reach 4-5cm were the runner bean and the butternut and were, therefore, the first I transplanted directly into my vegetable patch. Please follow my blog to see the ongoing growth cycle of these seedlings and hopefully the harvesting of them.